Watercourse buffers

The Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program (ORCWP) provides funding for projects that protect surface water and groundwater quality. To find out more, please consult the program description.


  • Maximum grant: 90 per cent up to $7,500

Project Description:

Planting vegetation (including trees and shrubs) along watercourses to protect erosion-prone streambanks and/or reduce impacts from cropping practices.

Assistance is available from your local Conservation Authority to help with developing and implementing your project, contact the Landowner Resource Centre for more information by email or at 613-692-3571 ext. 1136 or 1-800-267-3504.

Project Details:

  • A minimum buffer strip width of 3 metres (10 feet) is required from the top of any bank. Wider widths are encouraged.
  • Planting native species will generally be required as part of the grant approval. It is recommended that a planting plan be developed in conjunction with local Conservation Authority staff or a private consultant for establishment of trees and/or shrubs.
  • Care should be taken to select plantings that will not encourage beaver activity.
  • The site must be maintained according to the approval project and verified by Program representatives to be eligible for annual performance incentive.
  • Applicants are responsible for the care and maintenance of vegetation, including trees.
  • Livestock must be excluded from the site.
  • Any work on municipal drains must be approved by the City of Ottawa Drainage Superintendent prior to initiation. Applicants must provide a copy of the approval document.

NOTE: Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the project meets all legal requirements, including City by-laws, provincial and federal acts/regulations, and Conservation Authority permits/approvals.

Eligible Project Costs:

  • Permits and approvals
  • Purchased material and supplies
  • Contract labour and professional fees
  • Reasonable in-kind contributions for applicant’s labour ($20/hr) and equipment ($50/hr) associated with the implementation of the proposed project

The Program reserves the right to limit the eligible amount for in-kind contributions based on the proposed project. Applicants must provide a detailed written accounting of all in-kind contributions when the application is submitted. In-kind costs associated with completing the application, project planning, supervision, or administration, are not eligible for funding.

Ineligible Costs:

  • Commercial stock, non-native species, fruit trees or Christmas trees
  • Taxes

Other Complementary Grants Available:

  • Watercourse fencing
  • Land retirement incentive